He is a bit repetitive on the material section (and the delivery section, come to think of it, but I find his whole ‘commentary on his own show’ thing charming, so I am ignoring this fact), but still manages to be funny. His newer special, Mr. Universe, branches out into more topics than food and is a bit of a step up from Beyond the Pale and King Baby- though I do love those two. Very funny and starting to branch out a bit, which is always a good thing. Would recommend.
One of the few family-friendly comics who isn’t totally lame! Lots of jokes about mundane topics like food, exercise, shopping, and holidays.
Jim Gaffigan was the first person I met when I moved to LA. I drove out to the Santa Monica pier and was walking along the beach when he tryed to get me to take a crappy broken kite off his hands while out with his family. He’s exactly the same on the street as on stage… funny and super quirky.
Jim Gaffigan’s Beyond the Pale.
Jim Gaffigan is one of the best working comedians working today. He continually sells out shows and arenas around the country, and for good reason. He’s witty, he’s clean, he’s likable, and he’s downright funny, and Beyond the Pale is Gaffigan’s best work to date.
“Oh he’s a pale fella…”
He starts off the cd in his trademark “asides” voice, where he imitates a hypothetical audience members thoughts. He does this for quite a while (his actual voice doesn’t come in until 1:15 into the cd), and every comment he makes adds to the last, even to the point where he’s making fun of the fact that he hasn’t said anything of actual value yet. Throughout the cd (as is the case in all his acts), he continues to add his asides where appropriate. It’s a brilliant tool that provides a perfect segue into his next bit, no matter what it is. Yet even though it works best as a transition, he also uses it excellently as both filler and punchline in his set. He even expresses any fake hostility in the audience by mocking anything even slightly offensive he says (“Hey I like bologna…”), which puts any actual offense they take at ease. Though don’t be confused, there is nothing offensive in this album, unless you are particularly touchy about religion.
Now on to the bulk of the cd, FOOD! Gaffigan is probably the leader in jokes about food. Fourteen tracks are specifically dedicated to food related topics. The butt of most of his food jokes relates is the American eating habit. Among his targets are the simplicity of fast food orders, obsessions with desserts, and fake vegetarians. These tracks will keep you rolling, because they are topics that we are so familiar with, yet we often completely overlook the absurdity of them. It is in these tracks that you will find one of his bits that’s almost become his trademark bit, Hot Pockets! A very catchy joke because he makes fun of how terrible hot pockets are, and continually pokes fun at their oh-so-simple slogan. But because this is his most recognizable joke, I’d have to say it’s probably also his most overrated. Don’t get me wrong, the joke is funny, but I wouldn’t even put it in the top 10 tracks on this cd, which shows how much comic gold there is to find here.
While he takes a brief break from food, he goes on to lovingly criticize American holiday traditions. Even when some of the subjects are things many of us have already noticed and wondered (why chocolate eggs on Easter?), he puts enough spin on them to make them seem more ridiculous than we initially thought.
more food jokes more food jokes more food jokes
And now we’re getting towards the end of the cd, where his primary topic is religion (oh no, the R-word!). Now, as I practicing Catholic, there are times where I take offense to a comedian’s poking of my faith, but this is not the case with Gaffigan. His jokes center around Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Catholicism itself, yet he does so in a way that is neither mean-spirited, nor derogatory. And not only are they benign, they’re funny! He recreates biblical scenes that aren’t in the bible(Mary telling Joseph that she’s pregnant), and adds a few funny things that transpose today’s culture to Jesus’ (what do you get the Messiah as a gift?). Its the closest he gets to shock value in his set, but manages to steer far away from that course.
Overall, I’d recommend this cd to absolutely everybody. What more can I say? Jim Gaffigan is a funny guy who knows how to keep an audience happy
best tracks: Presents, Eating vegetarian, Eat Like an American, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
worst track: Spray Cheese(also the shortest bit), The Case Against Cinnabons,
Overall rating: 10/10
Idiosynchratic and irritating delivery of material that is occasionally amusing, but more often just silly.
Jim doesn’t even have to be telling a joke to make me laugh. His myspace blogs announcing tour dates make me laugh. He really inspires me as a writer to always strive to be smarter, quicker, and funnier.
Jim also subscribed to my Myspace blog. Sometimes I like to pretend that he reads it.